Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Unbearable Roundness of Bellies

It is fair to say that Max is a "good doer".

He gets through winter with just some hay, the paddock and maybe 400 grams of barley a day. The rest of the year he just gets a skerrick of chaff and sugarbeet to disguise his minerals and toxin binder.

This year I was behind the balland missed the boat and he managed to pile on at least 30 kilos in a week. His paddock mate moved out, and I hadn't realised how much the grass was growing so was still hard feeding him. And when I took his cover off in front of my coach - it was a bit like seeing the Thelwell pony, but with longer legs!

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Image from with thanks
Not quite what I have in mind when I think of my all rounder!

So that was the end of the hard feed, he got moved into another paddock with two mates and I contemplated a muzzle. I haven't inflicted the muzzle on him yet as he has dropped quite a lot of weight already. But it is there and waiting...

Monday, 26 September 2011

Progress, of Sorts

In the two years I've had Max, we have had ups and downs. I guess some people would think it is taking way too long for us to get out and do anything. But I have to remember that I'm just a novice, with my first green horse, and that my job gets in the way of my riding.

I am hugely, extremely lucky to have a talented, well educated coach to help me on the way. She is also busy - working, training her own horses, training other people's, and teaching.

She got on Max the other day and it was impressive to see my little horse pick himself up and move! He is capable of really swinging his back and even though he isn't completely straight (he dishes) he looked like a dressage horse. Now, I just have to learn how to ride like that and we might get somewhere.

He is now really good to load into the float (as long as there are Max Treats for him once he's on). I took him to the Park the other weekend, just to watch and eat his haynet. He came off the float, took a good look at everything and then stood to be groomed and walked around calmly. And then he loaded up and went home. No problems.

So this week we will start going to the Twilight rallies the riding club are running. If I can find a girth to go around that tummy (!), we will have a ride around and just see how things go.